Manchester United have reportedly been scouting former Manchester City forward Rabbi Matondo, 19, and view him as a more cost-efficient option in the next transfer window if Borussia Dortmund outprice them for Sancho.
After United failed to make a breakthrough in their pursuit of Sancho last year they turned their attention to Daniel James, who joined for £15 million from Swansea City.
Sources say United regard Matondo in the same ‘low-risk buy’ bracket as his Wales teammate James. Wales coach Ryan Giggs gave United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer glowing scouting reports on James and has named Matondo in all of his squads since the teenager’s first call-up in November 18.
Schalke are expected to sell first-team players at the end of the season as they look to make up for lost revenue following the coronavirus crisis. Matondo and Sancho could come up against each other when the Bundesliga restarts this weekend in the Gelsenkirchen derby between Dortmund and Schalke.
United have settled on a preference for young British targets in the transfer market, having signed James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Harry Maguire last year. The club is also interested in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham.
Matondo has impressed in Germany since he left City last year in search of first-team football, starting eight times in the Bundesliga before it was halted by the world health crisis. Sancho lined up in seven league games for Dortmund in his first year.
The youngster got the first goal for his Bundesliga side at the end 2019, and said: “I always set myself little tasks, little stuff in my head, what needs to happen. If I had made it to 2020 without scoring, I would have been annoyed with myself.”
Although Matondo was born in Liverpool, he grew up playing for the Cardiff City academy before he moved to City in 2016. Matondo never played for the first-team and joined Schalke for £11.3m on deadline day in the 2019 January transfer window.
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By Mthokozisi Dube